The TB Alliance announced yesterday that Indian pharmaceutical company Macleods will start manufacturing an essential component of the shorter, all-oral drug regimen for drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB).
Under a licensing agreement with the non-profit TB Alliance, Macleods will be able to supply 135 low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) with pretomanid, which is part of the 6-month BPaL (bedaquiline, pretomanid, and linezolid) regimen used with or without moxifloxacin (BPaLM). Macleods will supply the drug to those countries through the Stop TB Partnership's Global Drug Facility. Pretomanid was developed by TB Alliance and approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2019.
The BPaL and BPALM regimens are recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) for treating DR-TB. Previous treatments lasted 9 to 18 months and included multiple pills and injectable drugs, many of them with toxic side effects. But accessibility remains an issue, particularly in LMICs. According to a recent WHO report, only 40% of the estimated 410,000 patients who developed DR-TB in 2022 were started on one of those regimens.
"Macleods' pretomanid product will create an additional source of pretomanid for countries, thereby making the BPaL regimen even more accessible," Sandeep Juneja, MBA, Senior Vice President of Market Access at TB Alliance, said in a press release.
"Curing drug-resistant TB faster and with fewer pills will help people overcome one of the most difficult-to-treat infections on our planet," added Macleods CEO Vijay Agarwal.